York University Posts Student ID Numbers Publicly, Privacy Advocate
Posts copy of NYU page on his site, faces lawsuit from NYU - Students
Outraged at Privacy Violation.
Driven by worries about safety, the need for accountability, and
perhaps a certain "I Spy" impulse, families and employers are adopting
surveillance technology once used mostly to track soldiers and prisoners.
New electronic services with names like uLocate and Wherify Wireless
make a very personal piece of information for cellphone users physical
location harder to mask. But privacy
advocates say the lack of legal clarity about who can gain access
to location information poses a serious risk. And some users say
the technology threatens an everyday autonomy that is largely
taken for granted.
TrueActive makes a computer program that buyers can install on a
target computer and monitor everything that the machine's user does
on the PC. Spying
with software has been around for several years but one new feature
in this program crossed a line between monitoring and snooping.
That feature is called "silent deploy," which allows the buyer to
place the program on someone else's computer secretly via e-mail,
without having physical access to the machine.
Motorists face travel tax and 'Big Brother' microchip law enforcement
under New Zealand government plans to generate cash. Transport Minister
Paul Swain said with vehicles becoming more fuel efficient, revenue
from petrol tax would drop and alternative charges needed to be
considered. It is one of a number of transport schemes being looked
at by officials, including a Big
Brother-style project to equip every car with a personalised microchip
so law-breaking motorists can be prosecuted by computer.
Consumer groups and legislators are pushing to gain Californians
the right to force companies to disclose what personal information
they sell to other marketers. In addition, they are fighting to
prevent Congress from preempting the recently passed California
legislature bill that strengthens the financial privacy rights of
"Shine the Light" bill gives California customers the
right to ask any company with which they have done business to reveal
what personal information the company has sold for direct-marketing
purposes in the last year.
in our future The biometric use of personal information
will continue to make inroads in how we interact with each other,
our employers and even our machines and buildings. Therefore, staying
informed about this technology as it develops should be of great
interest to even the most committed Luddite as an employee, citizen
and possessor of his own biometric identity. In the days following
9/11 and in light of provocative movies such as "Minority Report,"
looking at alternative means of identifying ourselves is becoming
a growing concern.
Privacy law wounds fund-raising efforts at medical foundations.
Last year, the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation raised
a record $20 million for the San Francisco hospital and its programs.
Now, thanks to a new federal law protecting patients' privacy, tapping
donors who receive treatment at CPMC will become more difficult.
Some rules contained in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act of 1996 took effect last April. They limit how health-care providers
can use and release medical information. Hospital-linked
foundations fund-raisers no longer have access to patients' medical
blocking technique to ease privacy concerns surrounding controversial
radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been
developed by researchers at a major security firm. The labs at RSA
Security have outlined plans for a technology they call blocker
tags, which are similar in size and cost to RFID tags but disrupt
the transmission of information to scanning devices and thwart the
collection of data. The technique, one of few RFID-blocking technologies
being worked on by researchers, is still a concept in the labs.
But the next step is to develop prototype chips and see if manufacturers
are interested in making the processors, according to Ari Juels,
a principal research scientist with RSA Laboratories. Blocker and
RFID tags are about the size of a grain of sand and cost around
Privacy ascendant: So the California
Legislature, after years of doing the anti-consumer bidding of well-heeled
benefactors in the financial industry, finally did the right thing
last week by passing a serious financial-privacy bill.
And today, Gov. Gray Davis, who had been a behind-the-scene ally
of the obstructionists, is expected to sign it. That's the good
news. But never underestimate the raw power of the financial lobby,
nor its willingness to thwart the plain will of the people. The
industry isn't about to give up, which means we'll also have to
privacy fears over the tracking of goods tagged with wireless chips
could negate any cost savings gained from using the technology
in the supply chain, according to a leading industry analyst. The
controversial radio frequency identification (RFID) tags have attracted
attention from privacy groups such as the Consumers Against Supermarket
Invasion and Numbering (Caspian), who are worried firms will continue
to track RFID products even after they have been bought.
Marc Rotenberg, the head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center,
predicted that the United States would soon adopt
mandatory use of biometric identifiers in passports, scheduled
to begin in three years. They have announced plans to test American
passports with computer chips by Oct. 26, 2004. At a recent card
technology conference, the deputy assistant secretary of state for
passport services, Frank Moss, said the department planned to have
all new passports containing biometric data by 2006 at an estimated
annual cost of $100 million. About 55 million American passports
are in circulation, and 7 million are issued annually.
on Monday warned customers not to fall for an e-mail scam
that threatened to shut down their checking accounts if they failed
to provide their Social Security numbers. Citibank said "numerous"
people received the e-mail, which purported to advise them of conditions
affecting their accounts. It said the e-mail linked to a Web site
that looks like Citibank's, and asked customers for their Social
Security numbers, a form of identification. "Although the e-mail
appears to come from Citibank regarding 'Your Checking Account at
Citibank,' it does not, and Citibank is in no way involved in the
distribution of this e-mail," a company representative said. The
e-mail is an example of "phishing"--the use of spam, or unwanted
junk e-mail, to lure computer users to Web sites that look like
those of reputable companies, and to deceive them into divulging
personal financial data.
California lawmakers appear poised to adopt a hard-fought financial
privacy law that is not nearly as strong as consumer advocates had
wanted but still would be the strongest such law in the country.
privacy law to require banks, insurance companies and credit card
companies to get permission before selling or giving customer information
to third parties. And it would require companies to allow
consumers to choose not to have their information shared with some
affiliated companies. Representatives of the financial industry
stood with consumer advocates and Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo,
on Thursday to say that they would stop lobbying against the bill.
In the past three months, the hallways at Groesbeck-based Tel-A-Sell
Marketing Inc. have become a lot less crowded. CEO
Edd O'Connor has been forced to trim his telemarketing staff from
72 to 18. "I was running a full house earlier this year,"
said O'Connor. One of the big reason for the cuts: the chilling
effects of the National Do Not Call Registry and other similar efforts
in statehouses across the country. A month into the sign-ups for
the federal Do Not Call list, nearly 30 million phone numbers across
the United States have been registered for the list. That number
could double by the time the list takes effect on Oct. 1. The ATA,
which is challenging the list in court, said the national list could
eventually cause more than 2 million lost telemarketing jobs.
Michigan law chief slams
'bogus' anti- spam group Remove.org, the "Do Not Spam" list outfit
that has been accused of making false claims about its offering
and even spamming people itself, has been warned by the Michigan
Attorney General to buck up its act. Michigan Attorney General Mike
Cox yesterday issued a legal notice to Remove.org warning the company
that it faces a potential lawsuit under the Michigan Consumer Protection
Act for deceptively marketing its supposedly anti-spam service to
charged cracking Acxiom, the world's largest consumer database companies.
Daniel J Baas, from Milford, Ohio, is alleged to have illegally
accessed and copied information stored at consumer database giant
Acxiom last December while working for its partner, Cincinnati-based
data-mining firm Market Intelligence Group. Following his 1 August
arrest, Baas has also been charged with "unauthorised use of property"
in breaking into Market Intelligence's systems in August 2002.
are the weapons and the victims are far from sight, it is
easy to operate quietly and, for a while at least, undetected. And
that is how, for almost two years, Juju Jiang used an arsenal of
computers in his bedroom on the 14th floor - in an apartment he
shared with his mother - to break into others. According to the
federal agents who prosecuted him, Mr. Jiang had unwitting help
from his victims: customers at Internet terminals at 13 Kinko's
copy shops in Manhattan entered personal information that he gathered
with software he had installed
birth certificates to morph into your life story, and more?
To little fanfare last month the UK's Office of National Statistics
announced proposals for the creation of a central electronic database
containing birth, death and marriage records. Announcing the publication
of "Civil Registration: Delivering Vital Change," and a consultation
process running through until 31st October, the ONS listed key changes
as including the ability to register births and deaths online,*
in person and by telephone, greater choice as regards marriage ceremonies
and "new arrangements for access to registration information."
Managers who invest in privacy-eroding data-collection technology
aren't always conscious that they're moving toward a world of widespread
discriminatory pricing, Odlyzko says. Rather, they're trying out
ways to use information to increase profits. But as corporations
become more sophisticated in collecting and parsing consumers' personal
information, success will lead them to more pervasive price discrimination.
On July 28, I talked to Odlyzko about how data is being used to
usher in a more efficient -- and privacy-invasive -- economy. Edited
Q: Your paper posits that
private companies now have both greater incentive and ability
to discriminate on pricing by collecting and analyzing customer
data. How so?
A: . . .
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday knocked the wheels off the
ID card bandwagon, citing "huge logistical and cost issues that
need to be resolved" before the cards can be implemented. If words
such as "privacy" and "freedom" also figured in his reasoning he
neglected to share this with us, but he pointed out that the last
government had examined the issue "over a period of years" and had
come to similar conclusions. British
"entitlement card" for interaction with government has morphed into
a security-driven compulsory national ID card scheme.
In everyday life, with a few simple precautions, you can keep your
personal details private. By using cash, taking public transport,
using a pre-paid mobile and avoiding the internet most of your movements
will go unseen. You will not fade away entirely, but the time and
trouble it will take someone to find out what you have been doing
will make you a lot less visible. But on the net, almost no matter
what you do, you leave behind scraps of information about what you
have been doing.
Information about the computer you are using, the sites you visit,
where files were downloaded to and information you type into forms
will be noted.
Privacy Weekly is published by Privacy Council.
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